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Tuesday's Financial Winners & Losers

Hilb Rogal & Hobbs (HRH) was among few financial-sector winners Tuesday, rising on an upgrade by Stifel Nicolaus to buy from hold. Shares of the Virginia-based insurance broker were up 61 cents, or 1.3%, to $46.30.

Financial stocks were largely sliding otherwise in furious trading Tuesday, caught in a larger selloff that pushed the major indices deeply into the red. Credit-services firm Moody's (MCO) was losing $4.24, or 6.7%, to $59.33; savings bank Washington Mutual (WM) was down $2.15, or 5.1%, to $39.75; and broker Friedman Billings (FBR) was plunging 72 cents, or 13%, to $4.82.

Citigroup (C) slipped after the banking behemoth sweetened its buyout offer for Japanese broker Nikko Cordial by roughly 25% to $14.59 a share (1,700 yen). Nikko's biggest shareholders rejected last week's initial bid. Citigroup currently owns a 4.9% stake in the company. Shares were easing by $1.39, or 2.8%, to $48.97.

Nymex (NMX) was lower after a number of its shareholders, including General Atlantic, filed to sell 7 million company shares. The offering, which was filed pursuant to a February shelf registration, includes an underwriters' option for another 1.1 million shares. Nymex stock was down $1.97, or 1.5%, to $126.43.

Finally, the New York Stock Exchange decided to delist subprime lender New Century Financial (NEW) and, like clockwork, the rest of the sector plummeted. Accredited Home Lenders (LEND) once again took the worst beating, losing $4.24, or 62.8%, to $7.16. Fieldstone Investment (FICC) plunged $1.20, or 34.9%, to $2.24, and NovaStar Financial (NFI) was down another 87 cents, or 20.5%, to $3.37.

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